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Gold's Gym CEO breaks down why home fitness is 'disrupting the industry'

Nick Robertson
Senior Producer

“New year, new me” is a line plenty of Americans utter as the new year officially gets underway.

Exercising more and losing weight is topping the list of 2020 New Year’s resolutions, according to a recent survey by the online deals site Offers.com.

While January 2nd historically sees a large influx of gym goers, mounting competition from at-home fitness options like Peloton (PTON) are adding newfound pressure to legacy fitness chains.  

“The home fitness industry is certainly disrupting the industry a little bit and making people more aware,” Gold’s Gym CEO Adam Zeitsiff told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM recently.  Gold’s has been in business since 1965, and currently has more than 400 locations in the United States.

Yet Zeitsiff argued that companies like Gold’s are maintaining a crucial advantage over their at-home fitness rivals, despite their convenience.

“It’s that sense of community,” Zeitfsiff said. “You can engage with people...and you can support them along the way.”

“Health care and fitness are the ultimate people businesses,” Zeitfsiff added. 

"So we look at January as: how do you get engaged?  How do you work with the member…how do you make sure they don’t bite off more than they can chew — no pun intended in January — so they can achieve their goals in small, measurable results,” he asked.  

Beating out the ‘HIIT’ trend

Athletic man doing interval training running on stairs in urban setting

But traditional gyms have more than just at-home fitness to contend with.  

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout companies and classes have also become one of the most popular fitness trends in recent years.

However, Zeitsiff cautioned that HIIT workouts are leading to potentially unhealthy consequences.

“We’re seeing people get mental and physical fatigue and burn out,” Zeitsiff explained.  “The more you push it with these high intensity workouts, the harder it is to recover and do well the next time you work out.”

As a result, Zeitsiff is predicting another trend to gain traction in 2020.

“Recovery and restorative fitness is really going to be big — whether it’s yoga, or low intensity workouts, or things like the cost of therapy,” he said.  

“Get out there and be strong for whatever works for you in life,” Zeitsiff added. “That’s something we’ve been good at for 50 years.”

Nick Robertson is a senior producer at Yahoo Finance.

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